On Cloudventure review: a firm Nike Pegasus Trail running shoes competitor from Switzerland

I went all the way to Glastonbury to test On Running’s top trail running shoes offering, the On Cloudventure. The hilly surroundings of Somerset proved to be an excellent playground for these Swiss-made trail running shoes.

Running in the On Cloudventure was a similar experience to trialling the On Cloudswift in the city: they provided a firm and grippy ride, no matter the angle or the material of the surface.

The Missiongrip outsole – apart from giving the Cloudventure the classic tubular ‘On’ look – does indeed help you on your descends and your ascends, as claimed by On Running.

And between you and me, the firm sole fits the Cloudventure better than the Cloudswift; it really makes the difference when you storm over all manners of uneven terrain and gives you traction when you need it.

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On Cloudventure review: Tech and Egronomics

The first thing you’ll notice looking at the On Cloudventure is the Missiongrip outsole which combines multiple grip patterns and just looks like a bunch of tubes glued to the the bottom of the sole of the shoes.

The second thought you might have is ‘will little rocks get stuck in this sole’ and the answer to this question is yes. But, not long after the shoes picked the rocks up, they will drop them too, so the effect won’t bother you, especially running in a forest. The rubber outsole was designed so it provides maximum grip, no matter how loaded they are with rocks. And they won’t ever be to loaded.

The Zero-Gravity foam delivers lightweight cushioning and the technical two-layer mesh upper provides optimal ventilation. Nor does the mesh feel restricted, neither too spacious.

Running shoes with knitted uppers like the Nike Joyride or the Adidas Pulseboost HD can feel rather nonrestrictive which is great for a casual jog in the city, but not so great trying to descend some steep hills (it does worth mentioning that neither the Nike, nor the Adidas were designed for trail running).

The updated Speedboard is responsive and narrower at the centre, providing a good hold in the midfoot area. It has way too much tech in it to discuss here, but if you are interested, check out On’s explanation here. 

The On Cloudventure weighs 295 grams and has a 6 mm heel-toe drop. The shoes are cushioned moderately and provide support all around your feet.

On recommends the Cloudventure for training but even if you are looking for a race-ready pair of trail running shoes, On has you covered: the On Cloudventure Peak is even lighter with a ripstop upper material.

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On Cloudventure review: the Aesthetics

The sharp angles give the On Cloudventure a distinctive look, not to mention the peculiar looking outsole. Not saying they don’t look the part; on the contrary, the On Cloudventure look pretty much like how trail running shoes are supposed to look like.

Not in a bad way, though. All three colourways look good and distinctive enough so you actually feel like you have been given options to choose from. All too often running shoes companies think that adding a lighter shade of grey mixed with some black and more grey count as options. They don’t.

On went the extra mile to make their shoes recognisable. Even shoes that are very similar, like the Cloudventure and the Cloudventure Peak, can be discerned from one another, thanks to the vibrant yet harmonising colours.

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On Cloudventure review: the verdict

Running in the On Cloudventure was good fun, quite much so.

The Missiongrip outsole provides all the traction you need on your descends and ascends, especially on uneven, slippery surfaces a forest trail road has to offer.

The technical upper mesh, combined with the upgraded Speedboard design, holds your feet tight and wicks away the sweat (and tears) from your feet.

As well as providing a good off-road ride, the On Cloudventure also look nice. They look like trail running shoes, but not like a cheap pair you can get from the nearest supermarket. The materials used have a good quality feel to them.

The weight is just right for training days. If you would like to wear something lighter, opt in for the On Cloudventure Peak. There is even a waterproof version, should you want to compromise on ventilation to keep your feet dry.

The On Cloudventure are excellent trail running shoes for a weekend run or training days if you don’t mind a firm grip both inside and outside the shoes.

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